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History

History

Arconic is built on an extraordinary heritage of innovation that began with Alcoa’s founding in 1888. Our businesses have helped shape the aerospace, automotive and building and construction industries since the days of the Wright brothers and Henry Ford, and the first modern downtowns.  On November 1, 2016, Arconic launched as a global leader in multi-material, precision-engineered products and solutions for high-growth markets, following our successful separation from Alcoa’s bauxite, alumina and aluminium products units. Today we continue to build on more than a century of innovation to help transform the way we fly, drive, build and power.

Below are highlights of our proud history of innovation: 

1886: Charles Martin Hall invents the modern aluminium production process, later to become known as the Hall-Héroult process

1888

1888: First incorporated as the Pittsburgh Reduction Company, based on technology developed by Alcoa’s co-founder, Charles Martin Hall. The Company would be later renamed Aluminum Company of America in 1907, and Alcoa in 1999

1901

1901: Began fabricating lightweight aluminum bodies and parts for automobiles

1903

1903: Supplied aluminum parts for the Wright Brothers’ plane in Kitty Hawk, helping pave the way for the aerospace industry

1916: Introduced our first aerospace alloy, 2017-T4, which was used primarily as aircraft sheet and plate, and was integral to the USS Shenandoah rigid airship

1917

1917: Helped make the U.S. military lighter, faster and stronger, with the company’s trademark aluminum featuring in equipment ranging from helmets to gas masks to canteens

1928

1928: Pioneered lightweight, energy-efficient aluminum windows

1948

1948: Developed forged aluminum wheels, which were first used on Mack trucks, and are still the most advanced fuel-efficient wheel technology available 

1955

1955: Developed the first aluminum wheel on any modern passenger car – the lightweight spoke wheel on the 1955 Cadillac Eldorado

1965: Introduced the world’s largest light metals research center, the Alcoa Technical Center, outside of Pittsburgh

1969: Developed aluminum alloys for Apollo 11 that helped put a man on the moon

1976: Created aerospace castings and hot isostatic pressing (HIP) services to enable more fuel efficient engines

1977: “Alcoa Can’t Wait” advertising campaign began, memorable for its rousing score and images of the innovative products and processes from Alcoa

1981

1981: Supplied powdered aluminum fuel and aluminum components for the Space Shuttle Columbia

1985

1985: Consulted with AM General during concept development for the Humvee, which became the workhorse of the U.S. Army 

1994: Began working with Audi to develop new manufacturing techniques to produce an ultra-lightweight aluminum spaceframe, which resulted in the first all-aluminum automobile

2002: Introduced Dura-Bright® technology for aluminum wheels, which resist corrosion and eliminate the need for polishing

2005: Set the record for the largest manufactured aerospace titanium die forging in the world, which serves as one of the main bulkheads supporting the fuselage of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)

2008

2008: Partnered with Yutong Bus for the 2008 Beijing Olympics to test new environmentally friendly aluminum buses

2009

2009: Selected by Boeing to provide the first large aluminum-lithium plate application on a commercial airliner for its 787

2011: Introduced Reynobond© with EcoClean™ -- the world’s first coil-coated aluminum architectural panel that helps clean itself and the air around it

2013: Capitalized on historic auto industry shift to lightweight vehicles and became a leader in providing advanced aluminum sheet to the North American automotive industry

2014: Rolled out world’s lightest heavy-duty truck wheel, enabling fleets to shed considerable weight

2014

2014: Introduced breakthrough Arconic Micromill™ technology to manufacture the most advanced aluminum sheet on the market and enable automakers’ historic shift to aluminum-intensive vehicles

2014: Acquired Firth Rixson, doubling our average revenue content on high-growth aero engine programs, enabling us to produce more than 90% of aero engine components.

2014

2014: Opened world’s largest aluminum-lithium aerospace plant in Indiana

2014: Produced 3D printed parts for the Orion spacecraft

2015: Acquired TITAL, establishing titanium casting capabilities in Europe and growing our portfolio of titanium and aluminum structural cast parts for aero engines and airframes

2015: Acquired RTI International Metals, Inc., expanding our reach into titanium—the world’s fastest-growing aerospace metal—and adding advanced technologies such as 3D printing

2015: Announced plan to separate into two independent, publicly-traded companies – Arconic and Alcoa Corporation - culminating Alcoa’s successful multi-year transformation

2015: Opened advanced aero engine parts facility in Indiana, enabling production of nearly 60 percent larger structural parts and broadening our reach into large commercial aero engine market

2016: Selected by Airbus to supply metal 3D printed parts; our first agreement for metal 3D printed parts for commercial aircraft

2016: Opened state-of-the-art facility to produce proprietary titanium, nickel and aluminum powders optimized for 3D printing aerospace parts

2016: Arconic launches as a standalone company. Continuing to push innovation to the next level, solving complex engineering challenges that transform the way we fly, drive, build, power

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